KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX) - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX)

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:9 Release Date:2011-11-23

I've been a KMFDM fan for a looong time. I saw them live many times back in the 1990s, and they always impressed. But the after the group broke up in 1999 and semi-reformed in 2002 with a new line-up, some of the magic disappeared, and I gave up on going to shows. Last night, that changed, and after two decades, I finally checked out the new gang, still led by mastermind Sascha Konietzko.

I was not disappointed. Konietzko and crew played a ridiculous 20 songs, with an even split of old school and so-called 'nu-KMFDM' tunes. Interestingly, there were only three songs from their newest album, 2014's Our Time Will Come. Before the show, I asked Konietzko about the challenges of selecting which tracks to play with a huge back-catalog of nineteen albums, and he said he actually tried to convince the rest of the band to play a rotating group of five different setlists, but couldn't persuade them to put in so much extra rehearsal.

And perhaps that was for the best, because the band was incredibly tight on the songs they did play. The show opened with the bombastic orchestral hits of 1992's Money, a great throwback to the way they opened shows for that album's original tours all those years ago. Soon enough, though, guitarists Steve White and Jules Hodgsen were shredding their way through song after song, with drummer Andy Selway relentlessly pounding and smashing along.

After playing a couple more older fan favorites ('Light' and 'Ultra'), the band moved into some new material, such as 'Rebels in Kontrol', off 2011's WTF?!, a song that showcases Konietzko's wife Lucia Cifarelli's vocals and a clanging, banging beat. This did illuminate the most significant problem with the show, however: the vocals were mixed much too low compared to the live instruments and pre-programmed electronics.

I did get a feeling of greater confidence with the newer songs from the band, as everyone but Konietzko had come on board after 2002. 'Hau Ruck', from the 2005 album of the same name, had bone-crushing power, and the set's centerpiece, 'Salvation', from last year's release, bounced along in a righteous frenzy.

The crowd was great, giving the band all the energy they could muster, and it was clear KMFDM was feeding off that energy. They blasted their way through 17 songs straight before taking a quick break and coming back out for the three-song encore of older songs, finishing the set with one of their most popular songs, 1990's 'Godlike', which absolutely brought the house down.

I will say, I had my doubts going into the show, but it was a phenomenal effort, and they definitely delivered in the best way imaginable. After not seeing them for so long and almost writing off live shows, I took the plunge and had no regrets.

Konietzko had complained on Facebook about the difficulties of coming to America to tour (he and Cifarelli live in Hamburg, Germany with their daughter), and being raked over the coals by the IRS. He's said the band might not tour again after this one. I asked him about that and he told the long and painful tale of the band's maltreatment, but said while it was a huge hassle, things would work out and the band would indeed be back for another tour. I can't wait.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX) - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
KMFDM - Paradise
  • 09/27/2019
  • By Joseph Majsterski
KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX) - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
KMFDM - Hell Yeah
  • 08/12/2017
  • By Joseph Majsterski
KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX) - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
KMFDM - Yeah!
  • 06/23/2017
  • By Joseph Majsterski
KMFDM - Scout Bar (Houston, TX) - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
KMFDM - The Showbox
  • 07/18/2015
  • By Brian Lange.